Southwest Airlines Flight 812 was just another routine flight between Phoenix, Ariz., and Sacramento, Cal. on April 1. The passengers aboard were not prepared for the ceiling tiles to dislodge and collapse on them.
Thankfully, only minor injuries have been reported after the accident but the event led to massive investigations into the condition of 80 other Boeing 737-300s. Cracks have already been found in two more planes.
This begs the question: is cheap and efficient more important than quality? In this time of recession, the answer seems to be yes. According to Southwest Airlines, their crafts fly Southwest aircraft fly an average of 6 flights per day.
Airline companies need to make intelligent choices about the safety and maintenance of heavily – used public transportation. If they decide profit supersedes human condition, then it should be our civic duty to abstain from doing business with those unwilling to spend a larger percentage of their revenue on repairs.
It’s a positive sign that Southwest has cancelled all flights for these other crafts to ensure that all of the planes are in proper working condition.
However, if the oil spill last year has taught us anything it’s the ability to be honest and to have a certain extent of foresight. In 2008, the Federal Aviation Administration fined Southwest $10.2 million for knowingly flying 46 jets that were overdue for fuselage inspections.
The airline industry might take pride in the amount of inspection each plane undergoes, but they must account for the ever-increasing age of this machinery and investigate new and alternative resources that improve safety.